Travel Counsellors has formalised a new corporate business model for experienced sales and business development managers to join the company as franchisees.
The franchise roles will offer full-service account management to clients by working with fellow corporate Travel Counsellors agents to make bookings.
The homeworking company said some of the ‘BDs’ have been in the business for 12 months, but the new franchise model has now been formalised.
The 10 existing BDs have brought in more than £10 million in new accounts since the beginning of 2020, working with teams of corporate Travel Counsellors after agreeing a commission split.
Travel Counsellors hopes to attract 20 new BDs in the next year.
The newly-launched franchise is targeted at sales experts from the industry and the group said it was a departure from its traditional model of supporting experienced agents to make bookings.
Corporate managing director Kieran Hartwell said: “The concept of Travel Counsellor business owners working in duos, trios or teams is not new to us, especially within our corporate travel division, however, we’ve formalised the opportunity and extended this further by enabling a new franchise position focussed on sales and business development.
“There is a wealth of talent in the corporate travel industry who are experts at sourcing solutions to clients’ problems and creating seamless booking and travel experiences, acting as an extension of in-house teams. We want to harness this talent by keeping people in the industry who can be there for their clients and support businesses to get moving again.
He added: “The personal service provided by experienced travel managers can only become more valuable as we seek to understand and advise on the latest updates and government announcements on travel, including the impact of the traffic light system and associated testing requirements.
“We firmly believe that the future of business travel will be built around a highly-personalised and trusted concierge-style service, working closely with clients to unravel the complexities we may continue to see in the coming weeks and months.”
In the last 12 months, Travel Counsellors corporate and leisure travel divisions have welcomed more than 150 new franchise owners, who between them have made upwards of £3.4m in sales.
Five independent travel agencies and micro travel management companies left the high street or ‘bricks and mortar’ office spaces to run their businesses remotely.
Travel Counsellor Business Development Manager Michael Copare, who launched his franchise in September 2020, said: “During the pandemic it has been difficult – selling a product that clients cannot use to the full degree in the current climate of course can have its frustrations.
“However, with there being light at the end of the tunnel and by working on my relationships with clients I am starting to see businesses coming to me for advice and for quotes. By offering a consultative sell rather than a pushy, aggressive sale I am confident that the ground-work I have put in to-date will ultimately result in sales in the coming months.”
The company is staging it first corporate virtual conference this month.